French liturgical translations now ready for congregations

Published November 1, 2001

After years of failed attempts, French liturgies were approved by General Synod in July. The new French liturgies include the eucharist, baptism, marriage and funeral services.

Until now, francophone congregations have used Le Livre de la Priare Commune, a French translation of the U.S. Episcopal Church’s Book of Common Prayer and have done their own translations of the BAS from time to time.

“We made the translations because we needed them,” says Canon Pierre Voyer, rector of Tous Les Saints in Quebec City and a member of the group that worked on the translations. He said that other members of the group contributed to the original work. “Most of us had some translations and we brought them together.” They decided to use these as the starting point because they reflected the language and culture of the francophones of the three dioceses directly involved: Montreal, Ottawa and Quebec.

In presenting its work to synod, the committee said it had attempted to “make a translation which was faithful to the meaning of the English of the BAS, a translation which was as inclusive as possible, and which would be acceptable ecumenically.”

“It took many, many years for the BAS to be written in English and we had a year to do the translations,” Mr. Voyer said.

Faith, Worship and Ministry director Alyson Barnett-Cowan said the next task is to set priorities for native language translations.


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